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WaterSMART: Applied Science Grants

Grants to Eligible USA State Agencies, Tribes, and Irrigation
and Water Districts to Develop Water Management Tools

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), Bureau of Reclamation, Policy and Administration

Deadline Date:

10/30/19 4:00 PM MDT


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Grants to Western USA, territories, Alaska, and Hawaii state agencies, Indian tribes, irrigation and water districts, and organizations authorized to deliver water or power for the development of tools to manage water resources. Funding is intended for programs that address how drought affects water management, develop information regarding watershed management, and create platforms to improve access and use of water resources data by resource managers in the West. Grants are offered in two categories, based on project term and funding amount.

To be eligible, projects must:

  • Be designed for use by water managers located in the following states or territories: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands;
  • Be based on known and available (or “mature”) technologies and may not include the development of new or novel methods or technologies.

Projects must support one or more of the following water management objectives:

  • Water supply reliability,
  • Improved management of water deliveries,
  • Water marketing activities,
  • Drought management activities,
  • Conjunctive use of ground and surface water,
  • Water rights administration,
  • Ability to meet endangered species requirements,
  • Watershed health,
  • Conservation and efficiency, or
  • Other improvements to water supply reliability.

Eligible project types:

  1. Projects to enhance modeling capabilities to improve water supply reliability and increase flexibility in water operations
  2. Projects to develop reservoir operating alternatives and/or to develop frameworks to compare and analyze different reservoir operation alternatives (this may include improvements to modeling capabilities to support this type of analysis).
  3. Projects to improve or adapt forecasting tools and technologies to enhance management of water supplies and reservoir operations
  4. Projects to improve access to and use of water resources data, or to develop new types of data to inform water management decisions

For additional information about project types, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 186720

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

It is anticipated that approximately 8 - 12 agreements each fiscal year may be funded under this FOA.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Funding Group I: Up to $150,000
Funding Group II: Up to $300,000

Term of Contract:

- Funding Group I: Projects that generally should be completed in two years.
- Funding Group II: Projects that generally should be completed in three years.


  • Indian tribal governments and organizations (American Indian/Alaskan Native/Native American)
  • Nonprofit organizations (as described under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from tax under section 501(a) of such Code)
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • State Agencies

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants:
- Category A: States, Indian tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, or other organizations with water or power delivery authority located in the Western United States or United States Territories including Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands.
- Category B: Universities, nonprofit research institutions, federally-funded research and development centers, and non-profit entities (including 501[c][3] organizations) and others not identified as ineligible below. These applicants must be located in the United States or American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Virgin Islands. These applicants must also include, as a partner, at least one entity from Category A that meets the eligibility requirements described above as documented by a letter included with the application stating that the partner commits to participate in the project and supports the need for the project (e.g., a university may partner with an irrigation district or water district, or other entities eligible under Category A). A letter of participation must demonstrate that the partner intends to participate in the project in some way, for example, by providing input, feedback or other support for the project

Ineligible applicants include:
- Individuals
- Commercial/Industrial organizations
- Private entities
- 501(c)(4) Nonprofit organizations
- 501(c)(6) Organizations

Projects that are not eligible for funding under this FOA include, but are not limited to:
- Projects to develop new and novel methods or technologies;
- Planning studies, such as feasibility studies, appraisal investigations, water marketing strategies and drought contingency plans;
- Projects to develop or demonstrate tools and technologies supporting water reuse, water recycling and desalination projects (e.g., projects that are eligible under the Desalination and Water Purification Research funding opportunity);
- Construction projects to improve water management; and
- Projects funded under other Federal grants.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due by October 30, 2019, 4:00 PM Mountain Daylight Time, and must be submitted through

This funding opportunity will be updated to provide a second application deadline in fiscal year 2020 for proposals to be considered for fiscal year 2020 funding, contingent on appropriations.

If a cooperative agreement is awarded, the recipient should expect Reclamation to have substantial involvement in the project.

- June 27: Funding Opportunity posted to
- October 30: Applied Science Grants Applications Due
- December 2019: Applied Science Grants Selections Announced

Federal funding will not exceed 50-percent of the total project cost. Cost share may be made through cash, costs contributed by the applicant, or third-party in-kind contributions.

Applicants whose projects are selected for funding under this FOA must participate in at least one Reclamation-sponsored webinar to discuss application of deliverables to management questions. In most cases, the webinar will be scheduled when the final report is ready to be submitted for Reclamation review.

Applicants must have a DUNS number and be registered with SAM
- SAM:

Register with

Press Release: Workspace:

View this opportunity on

For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Matthew D Reichert, Grants Management Specialist
Phone 303-445-3865

Bureau of Reclamation
Financial Assistance Support Section
P.O. Box 25007, MS 84-27810
Denver, CO 80225

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alaska;   Arizona;   California;   Colorado;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Kansas;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Mexico;   North Dakota;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   South Dakota;   Texas;   Utah;   Washington;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)